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The production of a chemical reaction by passing an electric current through an electrolyte. In electrolysis, positive ions migrate to the cathode and negative ions to the anode. The reactions occurring depend on electron transfer at the electrodes and are therefore redox reactions. At the anode, negative ions in solution may lose electrons to form neutral species. Alternatively, atoms of the electrode can lose electrons and go into solution as positive ions. In either case the reaction is an oxidation. At the cathode, positive ions in solution can gain electrons to form neutral species. Thus cathode reactions are reductions.

Subjects: Chemistry.

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